Sunday, October 28, 2012

keeping my feet on the ground

when seeking my bearings i turn to words, not my own though, but those of the wise, the thinkers, the life scholars whose work is to watch humanity and interpret their lives. these string of words restore my faith in men. always I am left with a good feeling about people, about my general situation, about the world. it gives me a feeling of being back home where love is abundant and life is rich. i find it ironic though that often, human wisdom seems to spring mostly from human tragedy. but thats the way it has always been. after the hurting comes the learning.this is the reason why im drawn to maxims, quotes if you may, a collection of words that are so wise it can change ones world view. 

im sure you have those moments, when you read a quote or hear a line in a movie or a song or a poem and you are totally knocked off because it totally resonates through your beliefs, your thinking and your conventions, it strikes a chord in you so to speak.

this has happened to me over a million times, when a string of words strikes a chord in me so strongly that it stays with me for life. one such quote comes from the movie - my best friend's wedding - in the scene when julia roberts, after realizing she has totally mucked up the wedding was chanced upon by the hotel bellboy smoking in the hallway. the bellboy stops and takes a drag from julias cigarette and said something like - for whatever youre going through, my grandma always said; THIS TOO SHALL PASS... - everytime i find myself in a less than savory situation, i always tell myself this. it too shall pass, then i am able to see beyond the bad patch and into the time when the situation will have already passed. 

another one of my great movie moments was from schindlers list, the part when the war is over and schindler had to flee because he would be hunted. after being presented by his Jews with a ring, he broke down and said the ring would have bought him three more jews to save. because he would use his riches to purchase jews to work in his factory and ultimately to save their lives. it was from this scene where the tag line for the movie was taken, the tag line is actually a verse from the Talmud, a collection of rabbinic verses about life, that goes something like, if you save one life, you save the world entire.

finally, there is a line from a stevie Wonder song that has blown me away, and if you can name the song, i will give you a big hug or a loud kiss hahaha, here goes...

"But I believe that love can save tomorrow
I believe the truth can make us free
Someone tried to say it, but we nailed Him to a cross..."

Here are other quotes from the Talmud that keeps me grounded and though some of these are outright weird or funny, they still ring true somehow...

* Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.

* If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?

* Repent one day before your death. 

* Say little and do much. 

* Make a teacher for yourself, acquire for yourself a friend, and judge every man to the side of merit. 

* In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man. 

* Let your home be a meeting place for the wise; dust yourself in the soil of their feet, and drink thirstily of their words. 

* Make that His will should be your will, so that He should make your will to be as His will. Nullify your will before His will, so that He should nullify the will of others before your will. 

* The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own, and do not be easy to anger. 

* An evil eye, the evil inclination, and the hatred of one's fellows, drive a person from the world. 

* The day is short, the work is much, the workers are lazy, the reward is great, and the Master is pressing. He would also say: It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task, but neither are you free to absolve yourself from it. 

* One who increases flesh, increases worms; one who increases possessions, increases worry; one who increases wives, increases witchcraft; one who increases maidservants, increases promiscuity; one who increases man-servants, increases thievery; one who increases Torah, increases life; one who increases study, increases wisdom; one who increases counsel, increases understanding; one who increases charity, increases peace. One who acquires a good name, acquired it for himself; one who acquires the words of Torah, has acquired life in the World to Come. 

Blessed be!

Author: Monie Maunay

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